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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

New Program Director search announced

On August 9, 2013, the ESUP Executive Oversight Committee announced the posting of a new Program Director. Since this is a substantial organizational change, ESUP Change Management and Communications team pulled together a few questions for the executives. The following Q&A is based on discussions with Robert Elde, Dean of the College of Biological Sciences, and Kathryn Brown, Vice President of Human Resources.

What does the University gain by adding this executive leadership layer? What are the opportunities you see?

This decision manifests the executive's overwhelming desire to see ESUP succeed. ESUP is a highly visible University priority, and the executives want to optimize this shared investment.

As the program shifts from planning to implementation, the Executive Oversight Committee feels that the time is right to bring in a seasoned leader with experience tying together a program of this complexity. They want to add a leader with more experience in managing programs of this scope: a leader who has practical experience mitigating risks and schedule slippages that might occur as ESUP approaches program launch. The executives want this to be seen as a supportive move - an opportunity to improve the program.

What areas of weakness were identified in the current program? How did they manifest themselves?

The executives have not identified any specific areas of weakness. The program continues to be on time, on scope, and on budget. Executives expressed a belief that the risk of implementing the multiple complex components of this program might be mitigated by finding someone with experience and expertise in implementations of this size.

The executives expressed a sincere hope that the ESUP team and the University at large do not see this as an expression of any specific, identified risk or weakness in the current program or current program leadership. They hope this new senior leader will have significant practical experience in risk interventions in a program of this magnitude; they view this position as an added safety net.

What will happen next?

The new senior leadership position has been posted. The salary will be funded from the program's budget. The Executive Oversight Committee is the hiring authority. They have empowered business process owners Lori Lamb, Susan Van Voorhis, Mike Volna, and Sharon Ramallo, representing the program’s HRMS, Student, Finance, and IT projects, to screen candidates. The program leadership team will have a chance to provide input during the hiring process. The goal is to complete the hiring within the next month or so.

This new position will report to the Executive Oversight Committee; current Program Directors Andy Hill (UofM) and Rebecca Collings (CCI) will report to the new Program Director, and all other reporting lines will remain unchanged at this time. The program is going well; the executives want to have as little disruption as possible.

Meanwhile the executives hope that the team will continue to operate under the leadership of Andy and Rebecca as effectively as it has since program inception.

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